You Are Responsible For How Your Future Turns Out

It’s terrifying to admit that your life is up to you.

That in the catalog of decisions you could make, you really can make any of them. Some of them won’t play out (I'm looking at you five foot nothing aspiring NBA players), but many of them will.

Life responds to people who have conviction—who are willing to take extreme ownership over their lives. As Paolo Coelho writes,

“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

The problem is—you can’t just “want” something. You have to WANT it. [There’s a difference between “wanting” and WANTING, a difference that’s hard to communicate in the written word, but nonetheless, I’ve tried with quotation marks and capital letters. I hope you understand.]

If you WANT something, you take ownership of it. You don’t hedge against it. You don’t lie about it. You don’t cheat yourself out of it. You just make your moves. You don’t give a flying you-know-what about what anyone else thinks. You don’t complain; you just figure it out. Day by day.

It sounds dreamy, but it’s hard work. This whole “quit your job and chase your passion thing” isn’t as easy as Instagram might make you think. It’s a heck of a lot easier to relinquish your responsibility to other people. That way, you can blame them for your unhappiness, failure, or whatever else.

The problem is when you blame someone else for what you lack, you aren’t just relinquishing your responsibility, you’re relinquishing your power, too. When the blame is on someone else, so is the specter of change. You can’t fix or address what you have no authority over, what you refuse to take responsibility for.

It’s terrifying to admit that your life is up to you.

But it is only moving towards that certain terror that your life really does get to be up to you.

You have to WANT it.

Kate Ward